Friday, March 25, 2011
My computer crashed this week, right as I was getting into working on an exciting upcoming project. I took it in to have it repaired and got it back last night. After getting over my excitement that the computer guy replaced the two missing keys on my keyboard for free, without being asked, I checked my email, and it was like Christmas. I got three emails about new editing jobs, a message from an old friend I hadn't heard from in awhile, a message from a new friend, and some very sweet words about my blog.
But none of that is really why I'm here. I'm writing tonight to tell you that we made something fun with toilet paper tubes. We save all of our empty toilet paper tubes to put in the hamster cage, but it seems we go through rolls of toilet paper far more often than we clean the hamster cage. The bathroom drawer that holds all of her supplies is literally packed to the brim with toilet paper rolls, so we decided to do something with them.
I remembered seeing a marble run on Made by Joel that, in my mind, was made of toilet paper rolls. I couldn't look it up since I didn't have my computer, but I figured I'd just be able to wing it. I've since learned, now that I have a working computer again, that his marble run was in fact made from a cereal box. So what's the deal--did I change the cereal box into toilet paper tubes in my mind, or did I see such a thing elsewhere? I have no clue.
If you happen to have a plethora of toilet paper tubes and would like to make a marble run, here's what we did:
**Toilet paper tubes
**A tall piece of corrugated cardboard
**A bowl or other container to catch the marbles
1. Cut the toilet paper tubes lengthwise. Make a second cut so that you are cutting off part of the tube--this will make it so you can see the marble when it's rolling down. I cut less than half of the tube off because I wanted there to be plenty of "side" to glue to the cardboard and still leave enough of a "wall" on the other side so the marbles wouldn't fall out.
2. Tape 3-4 of the partial tubes together, lengthwise. You could also use paper towel tubes for this instead, which would eliminate the need for taping, but I haven't bought paper towel in almost eight years, so we only have toilet paper tubes.
3. Using a glue gun, squirt glue down the length of one of the sides of your tube and press it firmly onto the cardboard, at an angle. Repeat this, alternating directions of the tube, until you reach the bottom (as shown in the finished product).
4. Stand it up, or tape it up, like we did, and put a container at the bottom to catch the marbles. You're ready to go! Once you're finished, you'll have to test it out and see if there are any flaws that need fixing. You'll notice that on the second tube from the top, I had to add an additional toilet paper tube because the marbles kept flying off when they got there.
I tried to take a video of this in action today, but my little video camera was out of batteries. I have to say I'm amazed at how much the chicks love this thing. I thought maybe it was going to be one of those things that kept their interest for a few minutes before they moved on, but the only thing that stopped them from playing with it was my telling them that we needed to eat dinner. They will sit there and squeal and scream, pouring down a constant stream of 2-3 marbles at a time.
The only downside to this is the marbles that inevitably end up all over the house. This is the sort of thing that I don't have much patience for. Stepping on a marble or a lego drives me nuts. This will be a good opportunity for me to work on that, I suppose...